Mothercraft is a Toronto-based non-profit organization with 85 years of experience in supporting healthy child development and strengthening families, including: licensed child care centres and family resource programs; services for children and families with special needs; research, data, collection and reporting; and, specialized post-secondary training programs for Early Childhood Educators and other professionals. Its customers are children, families, pre- and in-service professionals, and nonprofit agencies that provide services to the child and family sector.
As part of its data collection and reporting services, Mothercraft provides sophisticated and customizable software for 23 community agencies. The web-based application, Children & Youth Services Information System (CYSIS), is a highly secure and critical application for tracking interactions and outcomes between agencies and clients. The system collects data and delivers reports that agencies must submit to the Ontario funder, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS).
Mothercraft developed and has been maintaining CYSIS in-house since 2008. Base funding from MCYS covers all customization, report building, initial data migration, security, hosting, backups, ongoing development, troubleshooting, and hands-on training for local administrators and end users. As the organization’s client base grew, and data and reporting elements evolved, the application needed to deliver a wider range of capabilities to accommodate the needs of new and existing agencies. This required infrastructure changes, as a result.
Mothercraft was outgrowing its network of IT partners which provided development and infrastructure management services. The CYSIS team was happy with these existing partners, yet came to realize that relying upon two small firms for all support and maintenance work was not the best approach for the long-term. For instance, one outside contractor handled the hardware procurement, installation and maintenance, a job which was becoming larger and more complex. Another small firm was providing all software development but had limited capacity to track and provide simultaneous requests. Ultimately, Mothercraft sought to migrate all components of CYSIS to a single solutions provider.
Mothercraft initiated an RFP process in 2016, hoping to find development and managed hosting partners that were highly responsive and could provide dedicated support with great communications. The organization also wanted to offload hardware management and technology licensing responsibilities altogether. Finally, Mothercraft desired to work with a well-established organization that could deliver upon the application’s security, performance, and scalability requirements.
Mothercraft initially selected CentriLogic to jumpstart its application development and management needs. Later, CentriLogic took on the managed hosting responsibilities for CYSIS as well.
“We appreciated that from the very beginning, CentriLogic presented the concepts and plans so clearly in terms of what we could expect for the overall solution, migration and the long-term engagement,” says Gert Wieland, Senior Information Systems Support Specialist. “There are always a few bumps in the road with a large project, but overall it’s been smooth and the team at CentriLogic has been extremely responsive to all of our requests.”
CentriLogic has provided the following services to Mothercraft:
- Complete migration of CYSIS to CentriLogic’s Managed Virtual Private Server (VPS) environment, leveraging CentriLogic’s Advanced Technology Services division
- Ongoing application development and management services for CYSIS
- Managed hosting infrastructure for CYSIS including Managed VPS, managed backup, storage, and e-vaulting services for greater redundancy
- SQL Server upgrades and database management
Since joining forces with CentriLogic, the CYSIS team is able to apply more energy toward supporting agencies which, in turn, allows them to better support children and their families. The organization no longer has to deal with IT infrastructure management and administration, and can update and improve its software that agencies depend upon much faster, according to Wieland. Other benefits include:
- Lower risks and higher confidence by working with an established and growing firm, rather than individual contractors to manage the solution.
- Predictable pricing for application development, support and IT infrastructure management, to help with budgeting and planning.
- Pain-free license management since CentriLogic manages and tracks all software licenses, delivering compliance assurance.
- A reliable, scalable infrastructure and advanced technical expertise to support future innovation at Mothercraft, including a new project for business intelligence (BI) enhancements to CYSIS.
“Our decision to simplify the development and management of this critical piece of our business to CentriLogic is making all the difference in terms of how we can best support our clients and the important work that they do in the community,” says Wieland. “We are excited to keep working with CentriLogic as our trusted partner as we continue to evolve CYSIS.”